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Jacob Elordi in The Kissing Booth

It’s only been two years since Netflix’s The Kissing Booth came out, but actor Jacob Elordi has come a long way since then, with the streaming service’s romantic comedy introducing him to a lot of people and propelling his career to new levels. Elordi recently reprised the role of Noah Flynn for The Kissing Booth 2, but looking back on his experience with the first movie, he’s disappointed with how many people only paid attention to him because of his abs.

Ahead of shooting The Kissing Booth, Jacob Elordi read in the script that he was supposed to be extremely fit. So he understandably went through an intense fitness regimen, which saw him lifting heavy weights at the gym seven days a week, twice a day. Cut to the time The Kissing Booth was released, Elordi was bothered by how much public talk about him concerned his physical appearance rather than his acting ability. As the actor explained:

At the time, I was super young and got thrown into a world where everyone wanted to talk about my body… it really fucking bothered me. I don’t identify with that whatsoever. I was trying to prove myself and be known as an actor. It was so much working out and I hated every second of it.

Before The Kissing Booth, Jacob Elordi’s only on-screen credits, outside of a few short films, were Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Swinging Safari, being an uncredited extra in the former and the latter serving as his first professional acting role. So yes, the Netflix rom-com was certainly a big deal for Elordi, but it was nonetheless upsetting to him that so many people were focused on his physique. It was not the kind of attention he wanted.

Later in his interview with Men’s Health, Jacob Elordi talked about how he had to reevaluate how he approached fitness, leading to him slimming down for his role as Nate Jacobs in the HBO series Euphoria, and not working out at all for The Kissing Booth 2. The latter ended up working out particularly well, as Noah Flynn doesn’t really have any shirtless scenes in the sequel.

All this isn’t to say that Jacob Elordi isn’t exercising at all; it’s just that now, he’s going about it a different way (he combines the body weights with yoga and pilates) and is using fitness as a way to center himself and stay healthy, rather than just as a means to look good on the outside. As Elordi put it:

Let’s be honest—I have no interest in going to the beach and looking like The Rock.

Jacob Elordi’s main costars in the Kissing Booth movies include Joey King, who plays Elle Evans, and Joel Courtney, who plays Noah Flynn’s younger brother, Lee. Both of the rom-coms are among the most watched movies on Netflix, and it turns out that the streaming service secretly shot The Kissing Booth 3 back-to-back with the second movie, so we’ll be seeing more of Elle, Lee and Noah.

The Kissing Booth 2 is now streaming on Netflix, and The Kissing Booth 3 is expected to arrive sometime in 2021. Check out what’s coming/already been added to the streaming service this month with our comprehensive guide.

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